ALAN Pardew saw his Saints side crash to their first defeat since September and admitted: “We deserved to lose.”

Pardew had warned his team to expect a positive start from a Brighton side determined to impress new manager Gus Poyet.

But his defence was slow to react as two-goal Glenn Murray fired the visitors into a lead from which Saints never recovered.

Pardew said: “This was a bit of a kick in the pants and we need to learn from it. We know that we can’t afford to take our foot off the gas because there is not much between the teams in this division and that showed – well played Brighton.”

Quick-witted Murray gave Brighton a 2-0 lead inside the opening 22 minutes “We got caught at the start of the game, we didn’t have that desire and passion,” said Pardew. “We can’t expect to start like we did and take something out of the game. Brighton came out fired up and up for it as we expected – but we didn’t deal with it."

Full story in today's Daily Echo